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Thread: MacBook Pro?

  1. #11
    Doug Dolde
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    Re: MacBook Pro?

    I think it's a great idea and am considering it myself. I'd use it at home with the laptop display closed up. Plug in my Eizo CG21 and use a wireless keyboard and mouse. I have a 600 GB firewire external drive for added storage space.

  2. #12

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    Re: MacBook Pro?

    If you really want to go that route (laptop only), then I would suggest holding off until both Leopard (OS X 10.5) AND CS3 come out. They will both be 64-bit and the MacBook Pro will likely get tuned up for that occassion too.

  3. #13

    Wink Re: MacBook Pro?

    I'd be wary of running Windows on the MacBookPro and expect to do tethered shooting unless I knew someone who is using the same exact set up successfully. Just because its supposed to work does not mean it will. You're going to be dealing with a different assembly of hardware bits and pieces. I'd stay Mac all the way.

    I've just moved to a 24" iMac which is a bit faster overall than a MacBookPro. The screen is way bigger of course and the hard drives are faster and bigger but the RAM limitation is the same.

    The new MacBookPros will run big monitors including the 30" and let you use the built-in screen for tools, etc. This is a good solution for a dual purpose traveling machine and a good color managed system at work. But I don't think you'll like working on the little screen on the road. You can calibrate the screen but the different ambient light conditions you'll experience will be tough to deal with on top of the lower quality of the display. It will be tough to get accurate color. I assume your client wants accurate color?

    The RAM situation is no problem for your 38MB digital camera files. I have 2GB in my iMac and it just flies through Canon 5D files with Photo Mechanic and CS2. Totally completely flies! The biggest difference you will see with a MacBook is the hard drive performance which will be noticeably slower than a 7200 3.5 inch drive. Overall I'd say you're looking at 50% longer time per file to open and save.

    2GB RAM modules have come down about $200 in the last 90 days, but again I wouldn't sweat this too much as my machine works great at 2GB. For big scans at your office it might be an issue but I think you state you'll have another real workstation there. At $600 for a 2GB module I'm passing on that upgrade for now.

    If I were you and I was driving to the road jobs I'd think hard about buying a 20" iMac and carry it in a travel case. Since the flat screens have become standard this is lots easier to do rather than with a CRT. I know people who've carried tower computers and flat screens for location work who thought it worthwhile.

    I'm thinking hard about traveling with an iMac for tethered shooting and working up files to deliver back at the hotel. The only downside is the loss of convenience of a MacBook. But you will gain real working advantages.

  4. #14
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: MacBook Pro?

    Marko, I have been using CS3 beta for some time now. Is it not 64-bit?
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  5. #15

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    Re: MacBook Pro?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    Marko, I have been using CS3 beta for some time now. Is it not 64-bit?
    It is, but the Tiger (OS X 10.4.x) isn't, so the CS3 is still runing in 32-bit mode. You will need both the OS and your application to be 64-bit. I will venture to say that this will be much faster on certain operations than what you are seeing now, but you will pay the price in greater requirements on resources such as memory. That's why I think most of their lineup and especially the laptops, will get a slight boost in that department come spring time, right before the official Leopard release.

  6. #16
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: MacBook Pro?

    Henry, Shooting an iMac on location sounds awkward at the least. Alsohere are times when I have to shoot tethered on battery. I also doubt that they are built to a standard that would tolerate months a year of travel.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  7. #17

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    Re: MacBook Pro?

    Dunno about tethered shooting, but I just upgraded to the Photoshop CS3 Beta, and have concluded that I have no need to upgrade from my 15" PowerBook 64 with 1.25 MB of RAM. It does nicely with big files - especially if I specify an external hard drive for swap files.

    I strongly suggest you read this recent thread, entitled Mac Users - How Much is Enough? Jim Kitchen is (in addition to everything else) a software engineer within the Apple Developers Network, and gives a valuable insight into performance issues that existed prior to the CS3 Beta, and which appear to have been finally solved.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Apple waits to launch a fleet of 64-bit machines at the same time that Photoshop (one of the most important "killer apps") comes out in 64-bit mode. Jim can comment here, but it seems that when they do, the performance boost will be anything but questionable.

  8. #18

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    Re: MacBook Pro?

    Kirk,

    I am not Photoshop power user by any stretch of the imagination, but I recently bought a 17" Mac Book Pro with the 2.33ghz processor and 2gb of Ram. I am completely satisfied. It is leaps and bounds faster than my Intel 13" Macbook or my old G4 iBook. Although I loved those laptops, I never knew what I was missing. OS X is a completely different animal with some real horsepower behind it.

    I also recently picked up a refurbished Epson 4990 scanner and have scanned 500mb files from my 5x7 negatives and was surprised at how well this computer can handle them. I am running Photoshop CS. It is much faster on the MBP than on my G5 iMac, albeit the iMac only has 1gb of Ram. I was concerned about the stories I had read about CS running too slow on the Intel Mac's, but so far - for my minimal needs, it runs just fine.

    As for the question of running Windows under OS X, I run Windows 2000 under Parallels and it is plenty fast. I do 3D AutoCad with it at work with some pretty big files and even in a window under another operating system it runs better than my old PC desktop. I have not tried Boot Camp, mostly because I have never had a desire to run or own XP. The convenience of flipping between Windows and OS X is something that will sure to put a smile on your face!

    I would probably follow the earlier advice in this thread and wait for the new machines to come out with OS X 10.5. I have a feeling it won't be too long of a wait...

    Regards,

    Harold

  9. #19

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    Re: MacBook Pro?

    A couple of random observations.

    I recently went shopping for a new work machine, with a budget that would have covered a MacBook Pro. I ended up with a maxed-out plain MacBook and a 20" Cinema display.

    The plain MacBook feels about the same speed as the Dual 2.0G G5 I have. Disk operations are slower, but manipulations like Photoshop CS filters and the scientific applications I run feel comparable in terms of how long I have to wait for things to complete. The reduced size and wieght are significant for me (and if comparing, don't forget the power brick: the one for the Pro is quite a beast).

    The MacBook screen is much better than most laptops I have used and seen. It is the first laptop screen I have been happy editing images on. Good enough for 'on the road', and useful even for colour palettes when docked.

    The Cinema screen is great. The MacBook drives it cleanly and all sorts of desktop tasks are made a pleasure. For my personal photography I still lust after an Eizo or NEC, but working on optical and probe microscope images on the Cinema display makes it clear that my lust is at least partly irrational.

    We have here in the lab a range of iMacs at various sizes, including several of the dual core Intel 20" models. The screen is very good, but doesn't match the Cinema for quality or subtlety. Although the iMac screens are pretty constant in contrast and gamma for different horizontal viewing angles, they shift quite radically for vertical ones. Someone standing behind a seated operator will see a very different image balance.

    The Cinema display comes in a not-too-big suitcase style box. Were I going on the road I would simply take it and the laptop together. Flying would be more tricky, but a Lightware or Peli case for the monitor would allow that too. I would vastly prefer that combination of laptop and external screen to a luggable iMac.

  10. #20
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: MacBook Pro?

    Kirk,

    As you know I am running a plain Macbook, the choice made because size rather than performance was my prime concern. I have it maxed out with 2 Gigs of RAM and am running CS3 Beta on it. I haven't done a comparison with a stopwatch of how it performs v. my G5 tower with 5 Gigs or RAM or my Mini with but it seems to run acceptaby fast with files up to 500GB, after that it gets a bit dicy. It definitely runs faster than the Mini and probably slower than the tower. I suspect that if you got the MacBook Pro route you will even more speed when you max out the RAMand remember that means an additional Gig over the plain MacBook; further the ATI video card in the Pro should also help with speed.

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